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Bill prohibiting campus bans on stun guns would reverse University of Iowa policy

Students walking to class

A bill working its way through the Iowa legislature forbidding public universities and colleges from implementing bans on stun guns on campus is at odds with the University of Iowa's current weapons policy.

The university currently prohibits stun guns and other weapons, including firearms and certain knives, on campus.

A supporter of the legislation, Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley said after passing a bill in 2017 that gave people over the age of 18 to be able to carry stun guns, he found out this year some schools banned them from their campuses. A concerned father worked with his local senator this year to propose the bill when he realized his daughters wouldn't have the option to carry a stun gun on campus.

It's important, Windschitl said, that students have that opportunity on university and college school grounds to prevent sexual violence and keep students safe.

The bill is on its way to the desk of Governor Kim Reynolds where it could potentially be signed into law.

Several victim and survivor advocates said they don't agree with the proposal and dispute the notion it could help reduce sexual violence.

Based out of Des Moines, the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault said the bill will neither help keep students safe on campuses or help prevent sexual assault. One of the coalition's 25-member organizations is the Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Iowa City.

Communications Specialist Matty Smith said there are a few reasons the organization thinks the legislation misses the mark.

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